Parents' Behavior  "Can Influence Teen Drinking"

By Dominic Hughes - Health correspondent, BBC News

Summarized by Dingilian


            The surrounding environment of a teenager greatly influences his or her later actions as adults. For example, poor parental supervision and becoming drunk by parents produce a greater chance of the teen to becoming drunk more than others do. Adding to this, close friends greatly influence the teenager’s behavior, and the more time they spend with alcoholic friends, the greater chance they have of starting the drinking habit themselves.

            Parental supervision is very important… if parents have no clue where their children are during the night, or let them watch inappropriate shows, they are more likely to have an alcoholic drink during that time. Don Shenker, Chief Executive of Alcohol Concern, said the report confirms that from the beginning of a child's life parents have strong influences on their children's future drinking patterns.

            The age of the young person also helps decide whether they will become drunk regularly. “Being introduced to alcohol at a very young age - for example, under 10 years old - makes it more likely that they will drink, and drink to excess as teenagers. However, there are differences in patterns across the group. So for the older teenagers, if they are introduced to alcohol later in life via friends, away from adult supervision, they are also more likely to drink to excess.”

            As a solution, the Royal College of Physicians also stated, “This shows that the government needs to concentrate on increasing the price per unit of alcohol and reducing its availability as their main priorities. In addition, increase education and national campaigns for both young people and their families on the dangers of alcohol.”

            Perhaps the hopeful side of the matter is that parents can truly influence their teens to develop a hopeful lifestyle, whereas adults can enjoy that occasional alcoholic drink without becoming dependent on it.